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Samson Omattah

(M. Pharm. B, Pharm)

Member, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Member, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, (RPS), Member, International Federation of Pharmacists (FIP)


Presented at RCCG, Victory Hall, Lagos, Nigeria  Sunday, 10th Feb., 2019.




I am so delighted to be here at this point in time to present a timely topic in the history of our nation  and of the church –As a church we must not be ignorant of the devices of the devil to rip-off our blessing and of our future. 

The topic: Drug/Substance Abuse is extremely important because of the epidemic of drug abuse facing us today in Nigeria, especially among our youths.

The use of known and unknown  substances of abuse has become a pandemic and has eaten deeply into the fabrics of the society especially the youths who erroneously believe that doing drugs s a fancy and a cool and yappy way of life.

Substances of abuse are pleasure given they are easy habit forming and they affect the Central Nervous System (CNS) especially the brain to elicit their effects. They alter mood, sensation, behavior pattern and consciousness of people

The use of substance of abuse cuts across all age groups, gender, occupation, religion etc


What is Drug or Substance Abuse?

Drug or Substance abuse is when you take drugs that are not legal. It’s also when you use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal substances too much or in the wrong way.

Habits are things we naturally enjoy doing, when we indulge in an unwholesome habits it might eventually become a disease called addiction.

B+ IT=BIT……….adding HA! to it gives you HABIT


Substance abuse differs from addiction. Many people with substance abuse problems are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behavior. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease. It means you can’t stop using even when your condition causes you harm

People usually get addicted to the following:


1 Cor 3:16 &17






2.  SEDATIVES e.g. Bromazepam (Lexotan), Diazepam (Valium), Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol : Rape drug), E.g Thalidomide 2012 caused Pheochromocytoma in Pregnant women, making them have babies withour hands and legs


4. TOBACCO e.g Cigar, Cigarrette, electronic cigarette, shisha snus

5. ALCOHOL E.g. Alcoholic drinks, Kainkain, shepe, spirit, liquor, beers and alcoholic wines Pro 31 : 4-6  It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drinks..give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish…

6. STIMULANTS & HALLUCINOGENS E.g. Cocaine, Amphetamine, Methamphitamine

7. VOLATILE SUBSTANCES E.g. Gums,  Paint, Thinner, correction fluids, Petroleum products

8. STEROIDS E.g. Dexamethaxone ( Yodi, Mawu mawu)


10. ANTIBIOTICS e.g. Using I cap of Ampiclox to flush



11. Sniffing of Pit toilets

12 Smoking of dry Pawpaw leaves

13. Drinking of spirits (alcohol or methylated spirits) with soaked tea bags

14. Sniffing of leather or detergents

15.Drinking of wastes and urine

 The list is endless


What makes people start using drugs or substances of abuse


1. Ignorant: They are lured by friends and do not know the dangers

2. Modelling ;Children do and improve on what their parents do 1 cor 15 :33

3. Curiosity on how it feels when these substances are used and further fueled  by its accessibility and availability

4. Peer influence / Social media and desire to belong o belong to a group or class or because ones friend is doing it.

Today youths are pouring all sort of chemicals on their hair to make it grey while the old are making their hair dark. The old wants to look young, while the young wants to look old.

5. TV adverts of some of these products and the hype they give to it to make one feel less of a man e.g Tobacco and Alcohol

6. Changing Societal Values/ Parental Neglects in search of more financial and career status neglecting discipline and values in Children. Subtle affirmation of these substances from the bar at home Heb 13: 8 Jesus the same forever

7. To feel good or escape life challenges

8. To celebrate after a big win e.g. pop champagne

9. To perform better at work or function

10. Poverty and Unemployment


Effects of substance or drug abuse


1. It affects the brain causing -Irritable behavior , Undue suspicion

2. Loss of right judgmental decision leading to indiscriminate sex which could lead to sexually transmitted disease e.g. HIV, Viral Hepatitis, cancers

2. Organ Damage e.g.. Kidney, liver (Substance Induced Hepatitis

3. Severe mental illness

4. Inability to complete school

5. Marital problems

6. Isolation from right or good companion

7.  Theft / legal issues e.g. Dangerous driving, Rape, Violation of rules and regulation

8.  Career/ School – increase school drop-out, truancy in school poor work attitude



The treatment of the addiction disease is lifelong because of reoccurring illness abstinence from the source is advised with thorough discipline knowing the grave effects. It is best not to start an habit at all before it becomes an addiction. Use drugs only when absolutely necessary from a registered Pharmaceutical Store

John 10:10 I am come that they might have life abundant

Prov 3 : 7-8

Be not wise in thy own eyes Fear the Lord and depart FROM EVIL.

It shall be health to thy navel and marrow to thy bones


Foot Notes


Despite the fact that the Onne Port, Tincan Island Port and all the land borders are not approved as entry points for pharmaceuticals into the country there have been reports of clearance of drugs through these unapproved entry points. The concealment and importation of illicit pharmaceuticals into the country remain complicated and poses a serious challenge for effective control at the national, regional and international levels. NAFDAC has been able to seize large amounts of tramadol destined for illicit markets from the Onne port. This is as a result of improved cooperation, collaboration, coordination and information sharing between and amongst regulatory and enforcement agencies in real time to detect and prevent diversion of controlled medicines to illicit markets and abuse.

In order to address the public health, and social problems resulting from abuse of drugs, the three arms of government – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Health, health, educational and religious institutions, parents must address the issues with vigour and holistically through these approaches:

Collaboration among strategic agencies (Nigeria Custom Services, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and NAFDAC) responsible for importation and regulation of controlled medicines and/or prevent the importation, distribution and use of illicit drugs .

Heightened regulatory alertness, diligence and control of importation of drugs and food, now that NAFDAC has been returned back to our ports and borders

The Federal Ministry of Health should develop National Prescription Policy

Enforcement of the prescription policy by the Federal Ministry of Health

Advocacy, and public awareness campaign through the print, social and electronic media should be carried out. Ministry of information and agencies directly responsible for the end users and consumers

Such as the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), NAFDAC, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), etc should play active role in these. Additional funding of these should be provided by the government

Stricter issuance of permits and registration of controlled medicines by NAFDAC

Greater collaboration through use of task forces among regulatory bodies responsible for drugs and controlled substances – NDLEA,NAFDAC and PCN

Extra-territorial enforcement to identify, disrupt and dismantle organised criminal groups operating across borders.

Review of the drug laws to enable the judiciary apply penalties that are commensurate to the offences.

Provision of more rehabiliation centers and workers to assist those that are addicted to controlled drugs

Provision of educational and employment opportunities to the youth

Greater inolvement of parents in the guidance of their children and strengthening of the marriage institutions for effective upbringing of children.

Greater involvement of educational institutions through emphasis in the curriculum about dangers of drug abuse, and of religious institutions in laying more emphasis on the protection of the body from substances that can damage and destroy it.

As a result of this crisis, the government is actively and currently working with various MDAs to mitigate the abuse of drugs in the country. If all the stated approaches are implemented, the nation and its youth can be spared from the current nightmare.

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